America: ‘The leading terrorist state and proud of it’

Our refusal to acknowledge the human cost our violence blinds us to the malevolence of US imperialism.

 

 

According to the Pentagon, US led airstrikes against ISIS have killed only two civilians: both children – “likely in Syria”.

A new report compiled by the non-profit group Airwars, which tracks coalition airstrikes in the Middle East, documents up to 591 civilian deaths from more than 50 credible incidents – involving 5,600 airstrikes.

In 1928, when Arthur Ponsonby, a British politician, said, “When war is declared, the first casualty is the truth” – he never specified what the distorted “truth” might be. If one were to examine all wars the US has engaged in modern history, however, one might conclude the casualty to be civilian death counts.

The US government and its ever-reliable mainstream media cheerleaders rarely, if ever, discuss, debate, or dwell on civilian casualties. To do so would be to acknowledge our own sins. To acknowledge our sins would be to acknowledge the US is as barbaric and uncivilised as those the US pretends pose an existential threat.

“When enemies commit crimes, they’re crimes. In fact, we can exaggerate and lie about them with complete impunity,” says Noam Chomsky in an interview featured in Imperial Ambitions: Conversations in a Post-9/11 World. “When we commit crimes, they didn’t happen.”

Now even if you file US-caused civilian casualties under the horribly euphemistic moniker “collateral damage,” you must, at the very least, file those casualties accurately. But the US has a history of underreporting civilian casualties at best, and proactively concealing at worst.

In 2004, The New York Times ran a piece about the tapes that recorded conversations between President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. In one exchange, Kissinger says he wants to sweep the 1969 My Lai massacre, where US Marines mass murdered as many as 500 civilians, “under the rug”.

As the air campaign against North Vietnam and the South Vietnamese Viet Cong continued to fail, Nixon angrily expressed his frustration. “They’re not only not imaginative but they are just running these things – bombing jungles,” Nixon said. ”They have got to go in there and I mean really go in. I want them to hit everything. I want them to use the big planes, the small planes, everything they can that will help out there, and let’s start giving them a little shock.”

Kissinger immediately relayed the order to the Pentagon: ”A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.”

Chomsky says this is the “most explicit call for what we call genocide when other people do it that I’ve ever seen in the historical record”.

More than a numbers game

So how many civilians did the US kill in both Vietnam and Cambodia? Well, it depends on whom you ask. If you ask the US government, “official records,” you get to a number around 2 million. If, however, you ask NGOs that track civilian casualties, you get to a number closer to 4 million.

While there’s a big difference between 2 and 4 million, there’s an even bigger discrepancy between 4 million and the number of civilian casualties the average American believes were killed in Vietnam by US military actions. In The Gulf War: A Study of the Media, Public Opinion, and Public Knowledge, the authors conducted a poll in which Americans were asked to estimate the number of Vietnamese killed in the war. The mean answer was 100,000, which represents 5 percent of official US estimates, and 2.5 percent of more credible estimates.

Of course, neither the above official and credible figures include the estimated 500,000 who have died slow and painful deaths over the course of the post-war decades from exposure to chemical weapons – Agent Orange and other dioxins.

More recently, the story of the 2003–2010 US invasion and occupation of Iraq is a story of Bush administration officials fudging the numbers on Iraqi casualties. In a 2005 press conference, President Bush was asked about the Iraqi death toll. With what became his typical befuddled and dismissive manner, Bush declared that only “30,000 Iraqi citizens” had been killed in the conflict thus far.

Lancet, a highly regarded British medical journal, however, published an “epidemiological study” in November 2004 that concluded more than 100,000 Iraqis had been killed in “violent actions” since the invasion. In 2006, two household surveys – considered to be the most accurate methodology for calculating casualties – put the Iraqi death toll at somewhere between 400,000 to 650,000 – thus making a mockery of Bush’s “30,000.”

“This inattention to civilian deaths in America’s wars isn’t unique to Iraq,” observes John Tirman, author of The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in American Wars. “There’s little evidence that the American public gives much thought to the people who live in the nations where our military interventions take place.”

Tirman likens US indifference to civilian casualties to what social psychologists call the “just world theory,” which argues, “Humans naturally assume that the world should be orderly and rational. When that ‘just world’ is disrupted, we tend to explain away the event as an aberration” and that when wars start to go badly for the US, Americans tend to “ignore or even blame the victims”.

US indifference

America’s indifference to civilian casualties is also rooted in racism via what cultural historian Richard Slotkin calls “the myth of the Frontier,” which posits America is always trying to subdue a “savage enemy” and that it is this myth that drives the way Americans see themselves and the world around them. “The savage enemy kills and terrorises without limit . . . in order to exterminate or drive out the civilised race (and) the civilised race learns to respond in kind. A cycle of massacre and revenge is thus inaugurated that drives both sides toward a war of extermination,” writes Slotkin.

Indifference to foreign “savages” and suffering is even codified into the US public education system. Susan Fujita, an assistant professor of US modern history, carried out a study of US history textbooks that were published in the United States between 1949 and 2010.

Of 58 textbooks that mentioned the atomic bomb, only 42 mentioned the civilian death toll of Hiroshima and only 18 mentioned the civilian death toll of Nagasaki. For Hiroshima, 35 of the textbooks gave a lower figure than official United Nations estimates. For Nagasaki, nearly all gave a lower figure than official United Nations estimates.

So what were the United Nations estimates? For Hiroshima, 140,000 killed civilians. For Nagasaki, 70,000 killed civilians. Now compare these estimates to official US estimates, which were carried out by the US Strategic Bombing Survey, which had killed civilians at 70,000 and 35,000, respectively.

Our refusal to acknowledge the human cost our violence inflicts upon those we seek to dominate, subjugate and occupy blinds us to both the realities of war and the malevolence of US imperialism. “It is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of imperial power are always among the last to know – or care – about circumstances in the colonies,” wrote the late philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Chomsky says we’re the last to know because of “massive propaganda campaigns” that keep us from knowing and that “when you’re silent about your own crimes, that’s propaganda, too”.

Go ahead. Conduct your own poll the next time you’re chatting with Americans. Ask how many civilians were killed in Vietnam, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq, Syria, Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, Korea, etc. I bet they either don’t know or care. And that’s what – as Chomsky wrote in a 2014 op-ed – makes America the “leading terrorist state and proud of it”.

– CJ Werleman is the author of Crucifying America, God Hates You. Hate Him Back, Koran Curious, and is the host of Foreign Object. Follow him on twitter: @cjwerleman

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Archive picture of an Islamic State fighter in Iraq – not in the United States (AFP)

Source: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/fearful-americans-1248565567#sthash…

– CJ Werleman is the author of Crucifying America, God Hates You. Hate Him Back, Koran Curious, and is the host of Foreign Object. Follow him on twitter: @cjwerleman

 

 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

4 Responses to “America: ‘The leading terrorist state and proud of it’”

  1. Nike says:

    [comments added]

    “The [Zionist controlled] US [puppet] government and its ever-[un]reliable [Zionist owned] mainstream media cheerleaders rarely, if ever, discuss, debate, or dwell on civilian [non-Jewish “Goyim“] casualties.

    To do so would be to acknowledge our own sins [as Americans, as British subjects]
    [However, Satanists relish in their sins; the worst of crimes earn them badges of “honour“]

    To acknowledge our sins would be to acknowledge the US [and Allies] is as barbaric and uncivilised as those the US pretends pose an existential threat [the US military is used by the Zionist Jewish establishment to wage their wars]

    “When enemies commit crimes, they’re crimes. In fact, we [Jewish Zionists] can exaggerate and lie about them with complete impunity,” says Noam Chomsky [that’s Talmudic teaching]

    “When we [Jewish Zionists] commit crimes [against non-Jews indirectly], they didn’t happen.” [that’s Talmudic teaching again]

    ………………………

    “As the air campaign against North Vietnam and the South Vietnamese Viet Cong continued to fail, (…) Nixon said ”They have got to go in there and I mean really go in. I want them to hit everything. I want them to use the big planes, the small planes, everything they can that will help out there, and let’s start giving them a little shock.”

    Kissinger immediately relayed the order to the Pentagon: ”A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.”

    Chomsky says this is the “most explicit call for what we call GENOCIDE when other people do it that I’ve ever seen in the historical record”.

    That’s true; the numerous genocides on non-Jews are being ignored and not commemorated….

    …………………………..

    “This inattention to civilian [non-Jewish] deaths in America’s wars isn’t unique to Iraq,” observes John Tirman, author of The Deaths of Others: The Fate of [non-Jewish] Civilians in American Wars.

    “There’s little evidence that the American public gives much thought to the people who live in the nations where our military interventions take place.”

    That’s unfortunately true; due to massive Zionist propaganda campaigns. The Zionist Rulers of America need a dumbed down American public blissfully ignorant and in refusal to acknowledge the human cost US military violence inflicts upon those they seek to dominate, subjugate and occupy.

    Americans are blinded to both the realities of American wars and the malevolence of US imperialism.

    ………………………………….

    “Chomsky says (…) “when you’re silent about your own crimes, that’s propaganda, too”.

    Satanic Zionists keep completely silent about their own crimes….

    The real criminals and mass murderers must be exposed and stopped.The crimes against humanity must end.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-xjLa9xrOo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCvblLcz0-E

    Breaking the Spell

  2. kingel says:

    Imho, US Imperialism is a euphemism for khazar zionist, EXCREMENTALISM !

  3. Dogman says:

    Created by the CIA in Saigon in 1967, Phoenix was a program aimed at “neutralizing”—through assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture—the civilian infrastructure that supported the Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam. The CIA destroyed its copies of these documents, but the creator of Phoenix gave his personal copies to author Douglas Valentine. They have never previously been published, online or in print.

    Colby’s CIA specialty, the “Phoenix Operation” in Southeast Asia, was known for its torture, political assassinations, mass murders (20,000 to 40,000 civilians), tiger cages, rigged elections, and slanted intelligence.

    On August 25, 1970, an article appeared in The New York Times hinting that the CIA, through Phoenix, was responsible for My Lai. The story line was advanced on October 14, when defense attorneys for David Mitchell — a sergeant accused and later cleared of machine-gunning scores of Vietnamese in a drainage ditch in My Lai — citing Phoenix as the CIA’s “systematic program of assassination,” named Evan Parker as the CIA officer who “signed documents, certain blacklists,” of Vietnamese to be assassinated in My Lai. When we spoke, Parker denied the charge.
    ……As in any large-scale Phoenix operation, two of Task Force Barker’s companies cordoned off the hamlet while a third one — Calley’s — moved in, clearing the way for Kotouc and Special Branch officers who were “brought to the field to identify VC from among the detained inhabitants.” …..The CIA, via Phoenix, not only perpetrated the My Lai massacre but also concealed the crime.
    ….As Jeff Stein said, “The first thing you learn in the Army is not competence, you learn corruption. And you learn ‘to get along, go along.’” Unfortunately not everyone learns to get along. On September 3, 1988, Robert T’Souvas was apparently shot in the head by his girl friend, after an argument over a bottle of vodka. The two were homeless, living out of a van they had parked under a bridge in Pittsburgh. T’Souvas was a Vietnam veteran and a participant in the My Lai massacre.
    …..T’Souvas’s attorney, George Davis, traveled to Da Nang in 1970 to investigate the massacre and while there was assigned as an aide a Vietnamese colonel who said that the massacre was a Phoenix operation and that the purpose of Phoenix was “to terrorize the civilian population into submission.”
    Davis told me: “When I told the people in the War Department what I knew and that I would attempt to obtain all records on the program in order to defend my client, they agreed to drop the charges.”
    …..Bart Osborn (whose agent net Stein inherited) is more specific. “I never knew in the course of all those operations any detainee to live through his interrogation,” Osborn testified before Congress in 1971. “They all died. There was never any reasonable establishment of the fact that any one of those individuals was, in fact, cooperating with the VC, but they all died and the majority were either tortured to death or things like thrown out of helicopters.”
    Source – The My Lai Massacre and The “Tiger Cages” by Douglas Valentine
    http://www.whale.to/b/my_lai1.html

    But the American establishment and media denied it then, and continue to deny it because Phoenix was a genocidal program — and the CIA officials, members of the media who were complicit through their silence, and the red-blooded American boys who carried it out, are all war criminals.

    A famous Phoenix operation, known as the My Lai Massacre, was proceeding along smoothly, with a grand total of 504 Vietnamese women and children killed, when a soldier named Hugh Thompson in a helicopter gunship saw what was happening. Risking his life to preserve that “social contract,” Thomson landed his helicopter between the mass murderers and their victims, turned his machine guns on his fellow Americans, and brought the carnage to a halt.

    Source – http://www.whale.to/b/my_lai1.html

  4. Dogman says:

    CIA programme. The systematic killing and terrorising of civilians exposed in the My Lai massacre. Continues to exist and operate worldwide today (eg Iraqi and Palestinian civilians), was seen in Nicaragua under the code-name Operation Pegasus, and in El Salvador with the El Mozote massacre, and in Indonesia with the Santa Cruz Massacre. And you can see the same hand at work with the manufactured Serial killers, at least one of whom was part of Phoenix.

    Quotes re Nicaragua
    The contras’ brutality earned them a wide notoriety. They regularly destroyed health centers, schools, agricultural cooperatives, and community centers-symbols of the Sandinistas’ social programs in rural areas. People caught in these assaults were often tortured and killed in the most gruesome ways. One example, reported by The Guardian of London, suffices. In the words of a survivor of a raid in Jinotega province, which borders on Honduras: “Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off, and their eyes poked out they were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit.”
    After many contra atrocity stories had been reported in the world press, it was disclosed in October 1984 that the CIA had prepared a manual of instruction for its clients which, amongst other things, encouraged the use of violence against civilians. In the wake of the furor in Congress caused by the expose, the State Department was obliged to publicly condemn the contras’ terrorist activities. Congressional intelligence committees were informed by the CIA, by present and former contra leaders, and by other witnesses that the contras indeed “raped, tortured and killed unarmed civilians, including children” and that “groups of civilians, including women and children, were burned, dismembered, blinded and beheaded”. These were the same rebels whom Ronald Reagan, with his strange mirror language, called “freedom fighters” and the “moral equal of our founding fathers”.

    Source – http://www.whale.to/b/blum2.html

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.